What kind of Australiany Stuff should we do in Sydney? More importantly, what types of snacks/beverages/food should we seek out? I'm a sucker for delights that cannot easily be gotten in my (old) homeland.
Any requests for things I should bring you back?
(Note: The first thing I plan on doing in Australia is flushing a toilet and video-taping it, so you don't need to suggest that.)
Gots stories to share. Might have to videoblog or something. Because that's SOOO much easier, right?
1) We're going to Australia at the beginning of March. Two weeks. Four days of which are earmarked as "Australiany Stuff" days, while most of the rest of the days are "Work Days" for D at her new Australian employer's facility, leaving me free to explore the undoubtedly vast assortment of daytime television in OZ. (She'll be working from home in the States after that, though.) Awesome. Suffice it to say that my life's dream of opening the first Outback Steakhouse franchise in Australia has rapidly taken a turn towards plausibility. (I'll call it "The Original Outback Steakhouse" and cash in on all those American tourists looking to do "Australiany Stuff.")
2) Got the stinkeye from an elderly gentleman at the grocery store the other day. Thought it odd. Then ended up behind him in the checkout lane to hear him railing about men who carry bags.
<blockquote>Guy: "They have a name for bags you carry your stuff in: PURSES. You really have to wonder about any man carrying a bag. I mean, that's what wallets are for. What would YOU think if you saw a guy carrying a bag?"
Checkout Guy: "That he has too much stuff to fit in a wallet, or he doesn't want to sit on his wallet?"
Guy: "Uh-huh. 'Too much stuff.' Sure."
Checkout Guy: "What about backpacks? Men carry those."
Guy: "I'm not going to carry a backpack, either. That's just not the kind of man I am."
Checkout Guy: "OK. Have a nice day."
Me: "Hang on, I have to fish my wallet out of all this stuff in my PURSE."
Checkout Guy: "Ha! Nice. :)"</blockquote>
I had one of those light-bulb moments as soon as I heard him start his railing against bags, because it perfectly explained why he was eyeballing me earlier. The funniest bit to me was that the ignorantly intolerant man in question happened to be a man of color with a wife of, shall we say, "much less color." You'd think that someone who has probably had to put up with a lot of intolerant, ignorant bullshit over the years would be a bit more hesitant to engage in the same behavior himself, but whatever.
3) Now I've plumb forgotten what else I was gonna tell y'all.
4) Oh yeah, now I remember. Pretend I spent a bunch of time making a graphic advertising my new show instead of just telling you the title: "Danzig with the Stars."
5) In addition to posting being hard, so has been answering email and replying to comments. Of which many, many "Emma Watson 3-D boob-related" ones have come in. (Over 50,000 people have viewed that post since Christmas, 109% of which are ardent that I'm a big fat idiot.) I'm not ignoring anyone, just extremely apathetic.
6) I forgot to take a brain-related drug to which my body is addicted the other day, resulting in a couple days full of little mini brain seizures. Talk about a crazy sensation. Know when you're nodding off while watching TV or something and suddenly jolt awake? Imagine that like 10 times an hour. Fun.
Let me get this straight... Don Imus refers to some young black women as "nappy-headed hos" and gets fired amidst the massive media attention, Kelly Tilghman gets a 2-week suspension for saying Tiger Woods's's opponents would have to "lynch him in a back alley" to beat him, yet John Gibson gets nothing?
Are things seriously so fudged up in this country that something only <i>vaguely</i> tied to racism (lynching) causes more outrage than cruel homophobic rumormongering towards a dead man and his family?
I'm not typically a celebrity woebegoner, but this atop the Westboro Baptist Church announcing that they're going to picket Heath's funeral has put me just about over the top on the "caring about the press treatment of celebrities" department. Seriously, LEAVE HEATH LEDGER ALONE! (SOB)
Geeking out with Erik yesterday was pretty fun, and I look forward to doing it again in the future. The game we played, called Federation Commander, was a bit more high-tech than I was anticipating. Using laminated cards and dry-erase markers rather than pencils and paper, the game was playable "out of the box" and required no tedious setup at all. (Well, not tedious for me, anyway; Erik was tasked with explaining the somewhat-complicated mechanics of the game to me. Over and over again, because I couldn't follow them at first.) To a newbie like me, this type of game is frighteningly complicated, but the complicatedness dissolves once you see how it all works. By the time my Klingon ship had Erik's Federation ship in tatters, I was beginning to feel at home within the universe, and think that I'll have even more fun next time we do it.
One of the things that really amused me is that Federation Commander, a game emblazoned with familiar Star Trek language and iconography, is not actually licensed by the Trek people and doesn't actually say Star Trek on any of the materials anywhere. All the game materials, however, do proudly proclaim that they're copyrighted, daring anyone to use them without permission under threat from lawyers. That takes balls.
Here's the cover of the game box:
I tried to take photos to "document" the game, but quickly found out two things: 1) I needed to pay attention to the game, and b) it's very much a "you had to be there" game. Little cardboard squares on the cardboard map of the universe do not really make for entertaining photos. You can see for yourself, though.
After Erik surrendered to me (the luck of the dice), we went to lunch and had geeky conversation. Then we geekily looked through some Ruby on Rails projects he's working on, and then played a little bit of that game Crysis I've seen on digg a lot lately. I sucked at it, but it looks pretty awesome. Maybe they'll make it for the Wii so I can play through it. There was also much iPhone discussion, and we played with my OLPC a little. Throughout the day Erik's wife Monica brought us delicious snacks that were decidedly non-geeky. Yummy veggies, spinach hummus, hot tea; nary a Dorito or Mountain Dew to be seen. Thank goodness :).
I didn't even have to use my lightsaber; I guess it was a good day. (<--- Ice Cube reference)
In a short while I'll be heading over to Erik's house, where we are going to apparently "get our geek on." There will be gaming that involves pencils, paper, starships, dice (?), and, apparently, interplanetary conquest. This will be my first foray into this type of gaming, and I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to think of it, but I feel that if I'm going to continue being a geek I need to try some of this stuff. I think it'll be fun. Plus, because it is all imaginary, if there are any hot Wookiee or Borg girls hanging around I'll be free to "do them" without spousal reprisal. My magic missile is aquiver with anticipation.
I grew up having disdain for "role playing" games drilled into me, due to the apparently millions of kids who were unable to tell fantasy from reality and ended up killing themselves and/or others when they couldn't handle the events that happened to either them or their characters. I suspect this was largely false information being spread by James Dobson and the rest of the armies of Christian naysayers, and that there's no truth at all to it. Still, I'm going to bring my lightsaber in case things get out of hand.
As a result of this rather huge burst of traffic, I had to turn off the thingy that puts little user pictures in the comments. Smoke was coming out of Dreamhost's server. Hopefully I can turn it back on at some point, but it's clear to me now that it is rather inefficiently written, so I may have to think about other options. I miss seeing all your smiling faces.
Speaking of comments on old posts: I recently switched out the really crappy CAPTCHA spam protection thingy I was using for the much better reCAPTCHA system. I did this for two reasons: 1) half the time that I tried to use the old one it wouldn't work, and 2) reCAPTCHA is very, very cool. Those words it asks you to type in? Those are robot-scanned from actual books, but are words that the robot was unable to to read on its own. Since those words need to be read by humans, and because I need to make sure you're a human before you post comments (after a week or so, anyway) reCAPTCHA combines those two problems into one neat solution. When you have to type in the words it asks, you're actually helping to digitize books in addition to proving to my blog software that you're not shilling penis enlargement pills and barnyard pornography. It's win/win, really. So next time you find yourself typing in those words in that little red box (on posts older than a week old), you should feel at least partially as happy that you're helping robots read books as you are annoyed at having to type them. Bookless robots thank you.
Tonight I picked up volumes 1-3 of Wildstorm Comic's's <i>Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Ash</i>. Wildstorm needs to hire a proof-reader worse than <i>Geek Monthly</i> does, because this appears on the very first page: "Take it from me, there's nothing you can do can take away the nightmares once you've lived through them." To quote a very wise man: "Doesn't anybody there <i>read</i> this sh*t?!" I've finished one of them so far, but can't say that I'm very impressed. Licensed comics suck, I guess.
Last night we watched the season premiere of CBS's fan-saved miracle child <i>Jericho</i>, which airs Tuesday February 12th. I really, really loved the first season of <i>Jericho</i> and was a little irked that they canceled it, but I wasn't about to mail any nuts or anything. I've been pretty excited for the new season to start, so I jumped at the chance to see the first few episodes before they air. Anyway, I don't have a lot to say about the season premiere because I was completely distracted by the fact that the show now has that cheap video look that <i>Dr. Who</i>, <i>Torchwood</i> and American soap operas tend to have. Everything is lit too strongly and looks like a set. I know CBS was strapped for cash, but was this really necessary? We'll be watching episodes 2 and 3 this evening, so hopefully I can get past the look. I'm really not sure why it bothers me so much, though.
As your lawyer, I recommend that you DON'T watch the trailer for <i>My Name is Bruce</i>, the Bruce Campbell movie I've had two years to imagine in my mind. The one in my head is AMAZING but the real life one looks really awful. I'm really disappointed; I just hope I can save you the same fate.
<blockquote>I was too young to enjoy the original "Alvin and the Chipmunks" because I wasn't born yet. And I was too old to enjoy the later incarnation in the 80's, so it holds no precious memories for me to defile. If someone decided to re-make "Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang", (a movie I fucking LOVED when I was a kid) with the cast of "High School Musical" and Raven Symone giving voice to a now sassy CGI car with tits that sang about race relations I think that I would not care about that either. It's a waste of time and energy. I choose to care about other things that I believe are worth the investment of that kind of outrage, disappointment, and sense of urgency.</blockquote>
UPDATE: I've ALSO always loved Patton Oswalt in a sort of hetero fanboy way, and found his response to David's justification. Now I'm not sure whose jib I like the cut of more. Either way, this is CLEARLY an issue for the ages.
My <strike>pants</strike> trousers ALWAYS develop large holes in the crotches far before any other part of them shows any type of wear. While the added ventilation can oft-times be nice, this is generally undesirable for a number of reasons. When the holes are small it's not too bad, but the holes very rapidly increase in size until there's simply nothing left; my trousers become nothing more than hinged legs. This phenomenon is apparently also experienced by Gary as well.
I can't speak for Gary, but I know that in my case, at least, the problem is not undue stresses being put upon the inside of my trousers -- if you know what I mean. There are many aspects of my life that cause undue stress and pressure, but the contents of my trousers are sadly not among them. No, the cause of these holes is a much more mysterious one; I fear I may never get to the bottom of it.
The other night's exhibition of crazy political ideals prompted some discussion from a friend intrigued by my Ron Paulian Libertarian Fantasyland. He was particularly perturbed by the idea of things like roads and schools not being paid for with taxpayer moneys, and wondered what I thought about them. I must confess that the school angle had simply not occurred to me before, so after a little thinking I went with the standard Libertarian answer (private companies). Like all Libertarians, I became smug after giving an answer of such sufficient convincingness.
"But what about poor families? How will they pay the tuition at these privately run schools?" he countered.
Once again, the idea of people unable to pay for school had simply not occurred to me. I briefly felt my world-view beginning to crumble, but then, mercifully, sudden inspiration struck.
"We put webcams in the gymnasium and charge pedophiles money to watch all the kids chasing bouncy-balls around and climbing ropes in those skimpy shorts. This will bring in TONS of money, effectively making tuition null and void."
See, with a little creative thinking, Libertarianism can solve ANY problem. We don't need the government to solve all our problems (badly) when we have millions of citizens willing to MAKE money off all the problems.